Mireille Sacotte

Emeritus professor in French Literature at the University Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle.

As far as I can remember… Letters came first: to look at them, to write them, their shape; though I was not really a gifted drawer. Then the sounds of letters put together, syllables, words; though I was not really gifted in music theory. The relationship between words and meaning was the next surprise: emphysema so soft, libertin and grenadine so close. I wandered in the streets as if to foresee. Delights.

Next came the crossed reading and writing; literary studies; Saint-John Perse before any others. Then other authors born in the French Caribbean who like him, masters of unknown words, of another language born from other elsewhere and who knew how to mix it with the French language. A New World.

From Marseille but born in Bonneville in 1943, Mireille Sacotte first taught French, Latin and Greek in Evreux and Créteil before hitting the road between 1963 and 1967 with only her backpack to cross South America, Asia and North African countries. After finishing her PhD in 1983 on Saint-John Perse, she published numerous articles and books among which Parcours de Saint-John Perse (1987), Un Roi sans divertissement de Jean Giono (1995), Eloges de Saint-John Perse (1999) or La Promesse de l’aube de Romain Gary (2006). It is through Saint-John Perse that she got interested in Guadeloupe and its writers like Edouard Glissant and Maryse Condé. Emeritus Professor of French Literature at the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III, she also taught French Caribbean literature at Middlebury University in the USA for 10 years.

  • Interview with Mireille Sacotte

  • Interview with Mireille Sacotte